Let it Be! Teaching Leave It and Drop It!

“Leave it! Leave it!!!! DROP IT!!!!!!!” For some people, this is an all too familiar set of phrases, and no matter how many times (or how loudly) they yell these words, the dog (or other animal) doesn’t seem to get the message. Most of the time whatever the animal picks up is not dangerous, but some objects can be hazardous to an animal’s health. The bottom line is that it’s very important to teach animals to leave or drop things on cue proactively, for safety reasons if nothing else. 


In this Session, Irith takes her inspiration from Karen Pryor’s statement from Don’t Shoot the Dog, “There are as many ways to get behavior as there are trainers to think them up.” Attendees will learn a variety of different ways to approach teaching Leave It and Drop It. The focus will be on making leaving and dropping things a fun game for both you and the animal you are training. Irith will also highlight useful foundation skills that make teaching these behaviors easier. The more ways you have to approach a training task, the better -- and this Session is sure to provide you with new ideas.

Irith Bloom

Irith Bloom, KPA CTP, CPDT-KSA, CDBC, CBATI, VSPDT, has been training animals since the 1980s, and has worked with everything from chickens and rabbits to dogs and horses—not to mention humans. A biologist by training, Irith continues to be fascinated by the science of learning, and loves taking part in conferences and seminars.

Irith has presented at a variety of conferences, including ClickerExpo and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) Annual Conference, and has given webinars for the APDT and the Society for Veterinary Behavior Consultants. She has also written numerous articles for ClickerTraining.com, and has been published in The APDT Chronicle of the Dog and Everydog. Irith is a member of the Steering Committee of the Los Angeles County 2020 Healthy Pets Healthy Families Coalition, a One Health Initiative focused on improving the health and well-being of pets and their people. She also volunteers with National English Shepherd Rescue.

Irith is the owner of The Sophisticated Dog, a pet training company based in Los Angeles, California, that specializes in private training and behavior consulting. She shares her home with a rescued English shepherd named Franklin and her husband Aaron (not a rescue).